An Ikeja High Court has fixed December 14 to hear the no-case submissions in the ongoing corruption trial of Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, a Federal High Court, Lagos judge and Godwin Obla, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).
Ofili-Ajumogobia is standing trial alongside Obla on a 31-count charge bordering on alleged perversion of the course of justice, unlawful enrichment and forgery proffered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Justice Hakeem Oshodi fixed the date on Friday after hearing the submissions of the prosecution and defence.
While adjourning the case, Oshodi noted that counsel should, by the adjourned date, “tidy up” all applications ensure that the court attends to them simultaneously, saving precious judicial time.
Earlier during proceedings, Robert Clarke (SAN), defence counsel to Ajumogobia, had informed the court that he had filed a Motion on Notice dated October 23, challenging the jurisdiction and competence of the court to hear the case.
However, he noted that he intended to but was yet to file a no-case submission before the court.
In his submission, Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), Obla’s defence counsel, informed the court that he had filed a no-case submission dated Setember 14 but was yet to receive a response from the EFCC.
Responding, Rotimi Oyedepo, the lead prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, admitted to receiving Adedipe’s no-case submission but noted that he was waiting to receive a similar application from Clarke.
“I await the first defendant’s counsel to approach me because it is not tidy for me to respond to both applications separately,” Oyedepo said.
During the previous court proceedings held on September 14, the EFCC had closed its case against Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia. In proving its case of corruption against Ofili-Ajumogobia, the EFCC had presented 12 witnesses and tendered several documents that were admitted in evidence by the court.
The anti-graft agency had alleged that Ofili-Ajumogobia had illegally received a sum of $793,800 in several tranches from different sources between 2012 and 2015.
On his part, Obla (SAN) was alleged to have offered a sum of N5 million as gratification to Ofili-Ajumogobia to pervert the course of justice. The offences are contrary to Sections 64(1), 82(a) and 69(1) (a) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State No. 11, 2011.